December — January 2019 — 2020 Issue 63
Supporting Families Let’s support and strengthen whanau — family. Some of our best church experiences occur when we feel church is one of the families we belong to: church as whanau. Families are very significant for churches. From our whanau come our children, our youth, our young adults. When we strengthen and support our church families we help mums and dads, grandparents and caregivers to bring their young ones up in the faith. When we disciple our children we build the church of the present and the future.
Supporting Families Contents
At Home With Advent
Christchurch Welcomes Passionate Global Priest
The Bishop’s Message
Supporting Our Families This Christmas
We’re Open! Give Water This Christmas Christmas Delight Top Seven Tips For Families At Christmas Global Bible Reading Phenomenon Here In NZ! At Home With Advent My Cup Overflows With Caring
Worshipping Together, Forever!
Theological Thoughts A Unique Opportunity
In My Opinion
4 Operation Christmas Child 5 6 Arts 8 Egyptian Border Control 10 11 Harakeke 12 Jesus Is Born
Christchurch Welcomes Passionate Global Priest New Director For Theology House
Global Bible Reading Phenomenon Here In NZ!
2 Extinction Rebellion 2 3 Global Dispatch 3 Worshipping Together, Forever!
Honouring Our Elders Anglican Care Staff Now In Central City 100 Years Of Mission To The Glory Of God — Our Past, Present and Future
A Holy Night Promise? Promise!
10 December Activities For Families Bible Verse Advent Calendar
16 17 18 19 20 22 22 23 24 25
Cover Image — Credit — Christchurch Cathedral (Transitional) Nativity Play 2018 Insert Clipart Credit — Rebecca Hartley Pinterest AnglicanLife is published bi-monthly by the Anglican Diocese of Christchurch Editor — Jo Bean — firstname.lastname@example.org Design — Leisa Jamieson Contributing Writers — Sue Baldwin (Ven.), Jo Bean, Edwin Boyce, Jo Cotton, Linda Dear, Rebecca Finch, Happyhomefairy.com, Tesella Hicks, Elizabeth Kimberley, ManyLittleBlessings.com, Spanky Moore (Rev’d), Annemarie Mora, Sammy Mould (et al), Nick Mountfort (Ven.), Patrick Murray, Liz Orr, Gillian Southey, Ruth Swale, Emma Tovey.
Editorial and Advertising Enquiries — Jo Bean — email@example.com Printed by — Blueprint Media Print Sustainability — AnglicanLife is printed on sustainably produced paper using vegetable-based inks
Supporting Our Families This Christmas
One Christmas one of my brothers and I found ourselves in Christchurch with nowhere to go for Christmas. We offered to help with the City Mission Christmas Lunch. No thanks, we have enough helpers. We double-checked our extended family situation: no luck, everyone either away or accounted for because having Christmas with other folk. Oh well, we would have Christmas by ourselves. A very quiet day was in prospect. Except that someone who knew this must have whispered something and we found ourselves invited to join a family for Christmas dinner who were connected to us by friendship and not by DNA. That was very kind of our friends and the memory of that Christmas celebration underscores that, how much family means to us, may not be realised until they are not around for an important occasion. Jesus himself was born into a family: Mary, Joseph and various brothers and sisters. In Advent we remember both the anticipation of Jesus’ birth, his first coming, and look ahead to his second coming, Jesus’ return at the fulfilment of God’s plan for humanity. The first anticipation includes a sense of Jesus being born into an extended family, including relatives Elizabeth, Zechariah, and John the Baptist.
The second anticipation acknowledges that God has extended God’s family to include all of us who are adopted in as daughters and sons. A great gathering together of that family in an eternal feast is one of the biblical visions which fuels our anticipation and readiness for Christ’s coming. After Christmas, with Luke’s help, we look at further aspects of Jesus’ life in a family: his parents ensuring he was circumcised on the eighth day, later presenting him in the Temple, then bringing him up in the ways of the Lord, before the remarkable story of this family making its way to Jerusalem when Jesus was 12, for a festival. His parents lose sight of him and after a bit of a panic find him, only to find that Jesus has a “new” father when he tells them he is not lost, rather, he is “in my Father’s house” (Luke 2:21-52). One of the challenges I am asking of ourselves as a Diocese is whether we could do more to strengthen and support families in our parishes and other ministry units. The future of any church, including the churches of our Diocese, relies on our faith being passed
down from one generation to another … to another. Grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles, cousins, brothers, sisters — “the whole whanau” as we sometimes say in NZ — need encouragement, resources, and affirmation in this task. There may be practical support the “parish family” can offer — babysitting, meals at times of stress, assistance with costs of a camp or conference — in order to help our children and grandchildren hear the gospel and be formed into lively, loving disciples of Jesus Christ. Advent and Christmas 2019 might be a new start in the Christian journey for someone in our extended family or whanau. Could we give them a Bible for Christmas? Is there a Christmas pageant service we should invite a nephew or a cousin to? It might renew a family custom if we say that “This year, we are all going to the Midnight Service.” There are lots of opportunities to share the gospel at Christmas time. May Advent and Christmas this year be good news for you and your loved ones.
Christmas at The Transitional Cathedral, Latimer Square
Full details of all services at www.christchurchcathedral.co.nz | firstname.lastname@example.org | (03) 3660046 Tuesday 17 December: 12.45pm Choristers Carol Recital 6.00pm Cathedral Chorister recital held at The Piano Sunday 22 December: 7:00pm Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols with music by the Cathedral Choir Monday 23 December 3:00pm The Children’s Nativity Service with Animals Tuesday 24 December ~The Eve and Vigil of Christmas 6:00pm Christmas Carol Recital by the Cathedral Choir 10:15pm Carol Singing by candlelight 11:00pm The Midnight Mass Wednesday 25 December ~ Christmas Day 8:00am Holy Eucharist with Carols 10:00am Festival Eucharist Music: The Cathedral Choir 5:00pm Festal Evensong Music: The Gentlemen of the Cathedral Choir
Honouring Our Elders Celebrating our experience-rich older people is something we should do every day. But especially on 1 October — the International day of Older Persons — a day to acknowledge the contribution older people make to our communities. To mark this day, St Barnabas' Fendalton held an afternoon tea and sing-along for our nonagenarians and centenarians. The fine china was dusted off, the tables beautifully set, and high tea with scones, sandwiches and cakes, was enjoyed. Twenty-three people over the age of ninety were celebrated and each took home a posy of flowers, a card and poem. Singer, Denis Guyan, entertained with some of the old favourite numbers which everyone sung heartily. It was a privilege to be part of such a lovely afternoon sharing memories, having fellowship and honouring our older folk at St Barnabas'.
Derek and Marcia Cockburn, enjoy tea with Valerie Strack.
Beryl Newman, Jill Woodside (standing), Pat Williams, Rev’d Canon Mark Chamberlain, and Lorraine Jones all enjoy the celebration.
In Brief | Words — Jo Cotton, Pastoral Care Coordinator, St Barnabas' Fendalton | Photo Credit — St Barnabas'
Anglican Care Staff Now In Central City The pictures tell it all — the Anglican Care staff previously based in the Anglican Centre, are now bang smack in the middle of town alongside their City Mission colleagues.
Patrick supervising the packers at the Anglican Centre. Moving day chaos at Hereford St.
There’s no place like… work? Roger is happy to be there.
Georgette still trying to work while the packing happens around her.
Anglican Care is now at 269 Hereford Street, opposite City Mission. Patrick in his new office.
In Brief | Photo Credit — AnglicanLife
This year, 2019, Anglican Missions has been celebrating 100 years!! For 100 years, Anglican Missions (AM) has been encouraging Anglicans to pray, give, go, and support overseas mission, and raising funds for a wide range of activities. As well as contributing funds to NZCMS, Anglican Missions supports a variety of projects that are approved each year by the Board (and aligned with one or more of the Global Anglican Communion’s five marks of mission). To particularly celebrate this centenary year AM has… • Produced new-look Mission boxes — an opportunity to keep giving and continue the heritage of missions work for many more years to come; • Shared Mission stories on their website www.angmissions.org.nz and social media. Please keep those
100 Years of Mission
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” Matthew 28:19
stories circulating and let’s inspire each other by sharing the experiences, challenges and joys of mission living; • Held a Mission Noticeboard Competition for parishes, and the winner was a lit-up board (see photo insert right) from St Margaret’s Church in the Taihape Parish (WLG Diocese). Let’s continue to support the work of Anglican Missions and uphold all our missionary partners, programmes and families in prayer, shared conversation and joyous giving.
In Brief | Words — Linda Dear, Anglican Missions | Photo Credit — Anglican Missions
To The Glory Of God — Our Past, Present and Future The Anglican Cathedral, built to the Glory of God, one of the city’s heritage treasures was a big draw card for heritage enthusiasts as part of October’s Beca Christchurch Heritage Festival. The excitement of worshippers, supporters, former tour guides and general fans of Christ Church Cathedral was palpable when they gathered in the Square to ‘glimpse behind the fences’. Heritage Festival tour guides, Chris Oldham and Jenny May, wore their traditional Cathedral verger cassocks, layered with hi-viz vests and hard hats. They enjoyed sharing stories about the Cathedral. Jenny says it was also lovely to hear people talk of their own memories and experiences, whether it was worshipping, climbing the Tower, or attending events like the Flower festival.
Jenny May (top right) and Chris Oldham (lower left) leading tours of supporters to “glimpse behind the fences” at the Cathedral.
“People were curious to know how the Cathedral’s heritage will be preserved throughout the reinstatement process, and many left feeling more optimistic about what’s to come. It was clear that many people have enduring connections with the Cathedral,” says Jenny.
Chris says it was an ideal opportunity to talk to people about the planning that’s been going on behind the scenes. “Experts in all fields such as construction, heritage and architecture sit together in the same room with members of the Diocese such as Bishop Peter Carrell, Dean Lawrence Kimberley and myself, to work out what is key for this reinstatement. This is such a pivotal time in the process, which will ultimately result in the action we know people want to see,” Chris says. The Christ Church Cathedral Reinstatement team was inundated with people eager to attend the tours, and a number missed out, so they plan to offer more tours in the future.
In Brief | Words — Annemarie Mora, CCRL
We’re Open! Blessings poured out on St Peter’s Preschool. What a wonderful God we serve! After a long journey, and jumping through many bureaucratic hoops, St Peter’s Anglican Preschool is open! On 23rd August the Ministry of Education granted St Peter’s its preschool license and on the 26th they opened. Our Story
Head Teacher Liz Orr, says, “The Lord is blessing the centre mightily — the roll is now up to 23 children and seven teachers already, and it’s only been open a few weeks.
Who can pull the silliest face?
e Reading on th n. su e th in deck
Parental feedback about the centre is very positive. One parent commented, Liz comments that the teachers/kaiako “My children have settled very well and children/tamariki have settled well and have enjoyed making new friends. and are enjoying the established routines. They really love the teachers, and even “We love the partnership between the wanted to take one of the teachers preschool and St Peter’s Anglican home! The teachers have been really Church staff, and the strong prayer base good at helping them to settle in. The they model,” says Liz. children are always very happy and eager to go to the centre each day. I love that Ven. Nick Mountfort, Vicar of St Peter’s, the teachers are all Christians and that says, “We love having the preschool here, they share the same faith as our family, and we are gently building connections: which makes it a good partnership each week one of the clergy read the between home and preschool”. Amen! children a story; I was invited to the Chinese autumn festival; and in late November the preschool children and families were part of the Christmas play. Every interaction is pure joy.”
Fun with dressups and puppets!
Driving cars in th mini-town.
That’s so many more children than we dreamed we would have at this stage of our journey. The families are being drawn to the centre, for two unique attributes: our faith in action and our daily Mandarin programme”.
King of the castle nd Boys and sa
Our Story | Words — Liz Orr, Head Teacher | Photo Credit — AnglicanLife
Give Water This Christmas In this year’s Christmas Appeal, Christian World Service wants to give many more people the water they need for life.
“We have had to ration food, we eat only once a day, and we trek for hours carrying water from the river, when it runs, back to our crops,” says Miguel. Life has been much harder than usual for small farmers. Because of the drought, the farmers could only grow hardy vegetables such as corn, beans, yuca (cassava) and malanga (a root crop related to taro). Life was grim and they could see no way out. So when CEPAD, the Council of Protestant Churches, offered to help their community, Miguel was excited.
Miguel and other farmers like him have set up simple irrigation systems piping water from the nearby river to large barrels so they can manage the water to get through the dry seasons. He captures any rain in a large hole lined with a tarpaulin beside his home. With the hoses supplied by CEPAD, farmers can now drip feed water to the roots of the plants. CEPAD supplies them with a variety of seeds and plants. Around Miguel’s house, the family now grows squash, herbs and plantains. Further away, they have planted guava, banana palms, pineapples, oranges, lemons and plums to grow alongside his staple crops. Now the family have hope for a better future.
Learning to grow food in new ways is the only way to survive for Miguel, a small farmer in Nicaragua. Once he could depend on the rain, now his crops will not survive without careful attention. He lives with his wife and mother in a small house on a few acres in the dry hills of Teustepe. He has lost many crops to the frequent droughts and severe floods of recent years.
Miguel and his wife.
“A thousand thank yous! Our way of life has improved greatly,” he says. Climate change, natural disaster and sometimes conflict are compounding the difficulties poor communities already face. Like all CWS partners, CEPAD’s vision is long term and with your help, they can reach more communities. As we spend time with family, this Christmas, give gifts and eat good food, let’s reach out to those whose next meal is not so certain — and give generously to the CWS Christmas appeal so more people have water, the essence of life.
“It’s changed everything. I now have water all year round and I can grow more and better crops. I’m also growing fruit and my family eats good fresh food each day,” he says.
Find out more: www.christmasappeal.org.nz
In the four years since CEPAD first set up their village development committee, Water to irrigate the crops has made a huge difference to the subsistence farmers in Nicaragua.
Her need is Give for Christmas, the essence of survival
1 CEPAD is run by the Council for Protestant Churches of Nicaragua and is a partner organisation with CWS. CEPAD stands for Consejo de Inglesias Evangelicas Pro-Alianza Denominacional.
Our Story | Words — Gillian Southey, CWS | Photo Credit — CEPAD
Christmas Delight A thankful vicar enjoys her work.
Christmas Eve, in a rural church, means I get to celebrate Christmas several times over. Most years this involves three services. Although there may be multiple services on the same night, it never seems repetitive or monotonous to me. For each congregation, this is their Christmas, so I get to celebrate Christmas times three. The early services draw the children and that’s where the high energy comes. Later in the evening we’ll celebrate the Eucharist together in hushed reverence, in a service lit by candles, as we welcome once again the Christ into the cradle of our hearts. On one such Christmas Eve, the children’s service concluded and a wee girl about age four, was standing next to the large nativity scene, absolutely rapt with wonder. She had something in her hands and was hiding it behind her back. “What have you got Charlotte?” I asked the young girl. “It’s a present for baby Jesus!” she replied with excitement. “Do you want to give it to him?” I inquired, and she nodded enthusiastically. Shyly she brought the gift out from behind her back. It was a piece of paper with a picture she had drawn of a sailboat. With all the reverence of a Magi laying his gift before
the Christ-child, she laid it carefully on the straw next to the little figure of baby Jesus. After a hushed pause she turned to me and asked, “Do you think he’ll like it?” “I’m sure he will,” I replied. Without much time between services I was off again to the next church. The congregation at St Paul’s was known for their enthusiasm for decorating liturgical seasons, as well as for their sense of humour. Swags of cedar garland ran along both sides of the church. The window wells of the stone church were tall and deep and big enough to fit a two metre Christmas tree. On the side of the prayer desk hung a pine
Nativity scene on St Matthew's Church altar in Courtenay.
Our Story | Words and Photo Credit — Ven. Susan Baldwin
wreath, and when standing in the pulpit the abundance of pine boughs and poinsettias made me feel like I was part of a display in a florist’s shop. But here’s where their sense of humour crept in. On the floor in between the choir stalls was a life-size paper maché Corgi dog (I never did ask the connection between Christmas and Corgis). His big glass eyes made you look twice to see if it was real. A big red bow was tied around his neck for the festive season and with his tongue lolling out of his mouth, he expressed the joy of this Christmas Eve service. Then I noticed the wreath. Peeking out from the centre of the wreath was a large stuffed toy mouse, wearing a Santa hat.
St Ambrose’s Church youth group and Sunday School children at their Christmas Eve service in Sheffield.
Back into the car and away to the last service of the night. I’ve learned over the years that when there are children at a late night Christmas Eve service, my best defense against fidgeting children is to tell a children’s story, illustrated with candy canes, which I then hand out before I proceed with the sermon. On this night, young Michael received one of the lollies with glee and returned to his pew with it. The sermon came and went without interruption and we moved along to celebrate the birth of Christ with the Eucharistic feast together. As the members of the congregation came to communion I noted more than the usual number of smiles on their faces. At some point in the service, young Michael had eventually become tired of his candy cane and put it down on the pew beside him. His mother was wearing a black wool skirt. She had been one of the first to come for communion, and what the congregation saw was a candy cane stuck to her back-side as she solemnly walked up the aisle. (She never let me forget it!) After everyone left, I got back into my car for the ride home. There on the passenger seat was a mid-night snack that had been left for me. After a long evening of celebrating the birth of Christ, this thoughtful gift capped the night off nicely.
It’s services like these that make it all worthwhile. Is effort required? Yes. Am I exhausted on Boxing Day? Yes. Would I do it all again? Yes. The generosity of the parishioners who go to so much effort to set up the church, complete with dogs, poinsettias and mice in Santa suits, is cherished and enjoyed and received as the love-gift it is. The whispered conversations of a child enthralled by a simple wooden nativity scene is also a gift — a reminder that God doesn’t ask for lavish gestures but the simplicity of a genuine heart. The joy of a family witnessing a humourous moment and cherishing that memory for years to come, also a gift. A reminder to notice the simple joys, be in the moment and store up good memories. So whether you sing “Good Christians all rejoice”, “Silent Night” or “Jingle Bells,” all traditions have a part to play, and if we look around us with a loving, giving and compassionate heart, the joy, peace and hope of Christmas can be there amoung the business. And the promise of “Immanuel — God with us” will carry us through and into 2020 with a thankful heart.
The Ven. Susan Baldwin is Archdeacon for Westland and the Chatham Islands and the Rural Life Missioner. She has spent 23 years ministering in rural parishes and co-ordinates the Post Ordination Training for new clergy. She lives with her husband Philip and their two dogs in Darfield, as Vicar of the Malvern Parish. Susan is originally from Canada and moved to our Diocese in 2009.
Our Story | Words and Photo Credit — Ven. Susan Baldwin
Top Seven Tips For Families At Christmas
Do the ‘Jingle Bells’ at Christmas jangle on your nerves? Christmas can be both an exciting and stressful time. Whether you are gathering your family together (trying to get your ducks in a row), reflecting on the good news of Christ (keeping sugar-fueled children seated in the pews), or attempting to resurrect a pavlova that has sunk in the oven (there’s a disconnect between ‘check regularly’ and ‘don’t open the oven door’), we hope that some of these tips can help your holiday season to be more joyful, meaningful and fun! We have reached out to some of the Anglican community and drawn on a combination of people and places to ‘crowd-source’ a Top Seven Tips for families at Christmas.
Keep the main thing the main thing (adapted from the O’Brien and the Blackie whanau)
Anyone remember Pollyanna? Finding the positive in all situations is a skill that can be practised — especially at Christmas time. So, if your pavlova is unable to be salvaged, crush it up and make it into an Eton Mess. Because at the end of the day, the reason for the season is Jesus coming into the world to save us all and restore us into a right relationship with God. It’s eternal stuff. Don’t let the earthly pressures make us lose sight of the outrageous gift of eternal life though Christ. So, if the lounge still needs tidying and you have guests coming, make a game of it and get the kids to pick up and put away toys in exchange for opening a sneaky present, or getting to light the fiery Christmas pud, or whatever motivates them. Put on Christmas carols and dance while tidying! And in the end — those that love
you will accept you as you are — warts and all, tidy lounge or not. We don’t have to be perfect — but we do need to keep the main thing the main thing. Christmas is a time of celebration, generosity and kindness for all, even yourself!
Share the tasks (from Jo)
There are always parts of Christmas we love and parts we find challenging. One suggestion is to sit down as a whanau or friend group and list your top likes and dislikes. You may be fortunate enough to find a family member or friend to support you in the things you find hard and you may be able to help someone do something they find hard. For example I love wrapping presents — happy to swap that for some home baking, tidying, or child-free shopping time. One year a good friend gave me the best present of all — she turned up on Christmas night to assist with the dreaded family barbecue! What an angel!
Traditions turned to treasure (from Jocelyn at the Anglican Centre)
Family traditions can become treasured memories, and can carry on for years as children grow up and start having families of their own. Reflect and identify which traditions you cherish the most and therefore want your grandchildren to carry on. Jocelyn’s family does this:
Letting children open one present on Christmas Eve can be part of your family's special memories.
“On the night of Christmas Eve, we let the kids open one present from under the tree, preferably from a family member we won’t see on Christmas day. We had a special supper and I read them a Christmas Story, or as they got older, shared stories of Christmases past. It
helped to settle them down to go to bed and even if we had been to a midnight Church Service we would still do this”.
When money is tight (adapted from the Blackie whanau)
Talk together before Christmas and decide what expectations can realistically be met, taking into account practical, emotional, financial and other considerations. It may mean coming up with creative compromises! For example, share your favourite recipe written on a card with one key ingredient attached to it. Or Secret Santa for one person in the family. But if someone has a ‘gift giver’ love language, allow them to spoil you if they want to. Everyone’s circumstances are different and gift giving doesn’t have to be fair — it just has to be done in love.
Take the opportunity to really engage in talking and sharing (adapted by Charlotte)
Homogeneity is not common in families — in fact — the differences between siblings and generations can be huge. But family is a good place to practice compromise, listening skills, patience and generosity. Gather your wider family and agree to focus on the positive aspects of your shared experiences. Use some good conversation starters, if necessary. Try some of these: • What was your favourite part of Christmas as a child? • Have you seen a good movie/podcast/ netflicks series lately, and why is it good? • If you won a family holiday where would you go and why? (Maybe try one real and one imagined destination?) • If you were given $5000 to help others, that you couldn’t spend on yourself, how would you spend it?
Our Story | Words — Sammy, Charlotte, Emma, Jo and friends | Photo Credit — Freepik
Blended or separated families need extra care (adapted from todaysparent.com)
A new kind of WISH list (adapted by Jenny Palmer from theparentingplace.com)
Do your kids make a wishlist? Yes, it’s fun to put down all their ideas and hints… but it focuses them on their own desires and not on Christ — the greatest gift of all. Our faith calls us to focus outwards. One way to do this is to have each family member make a W.I.S.H. list using these four categories, and then action it.
• I for Individual — What’s something special we can pray for or do for someone we know? How can we bless someone who is going through a tough time? Maybe spend time with someone rather than a gift? • S is for Society — How can we bring joy and peace to our community? What local groups might need a helping hand? What local issues might need a volunteer? City Mission?
In Closing So let’s be kind, forgiving, generous and determined to enter into a ‘Pollyanna’ mindset. Decide what you want to achieve — and get your whanau to join in the planning. Think about who you most want to spend time with this season — and make time for them. Decide what your family really enjoys doing together — and make time for that. Take stock, take a breath and bravely ditch things that don’t work for you, while embracing more of things your whanau enjoys. Let’s be generous with ourselves and each other this Christmas, as God, in his outrageous generosity, gave us the gift of Christ, and the promise for all of eternal life with Him. Blessings from Sammy, Charlotte, Emma, Jo and friends
• H is for Home — How can we give to our family this Christmas? Can we help mum with the meals? Organize a family outing? Clean the family car? Give someone a jar of hugs and kisses?
What’s important for you this Christmas?
Our Story | Words — Sammy, Charlotte, Emma, Jo and friends | Photo Credit — Irina Murza/Unsplash
Good, early planning can make all the difference when dealing with the logistics of a blended family. Where possible have conversations early with all involved about where children will be spending time in the lead up to, on the big day, and immediately after. Communicate with your children and ensure they feel included in the planning and able to see those they care about either on the day or in the days around December 25th. Making a chart together can help alleviate worries and concerns.
• W for World — What can we do for the world we live in, the earth, our planet? Can we buy eco-friendly presents? Can we reduce our carbon footprint? Make something? And let’s not wrap it in shiny Christmas paper, but use our preschool drawings or other recycled paper to wrap the gifts in.
Global Bible Reading Phenomenon Here In NZ!
"It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it." Isaiah 55:11
The Bible Society exists for two things: To make the Bible accessible to everyone and encourage interaction with it.
Part of that is translating it into various languages. Another is providing it in different formats eg audio books, videos, bibles for children, sign language and braille bibles, and more. Another part of it is providing materials alongside the bible to make it more understandable, put it in context, and help readers make meaningful connections with it. Because it’s not just about having a Bible; it’s also about interacting with it, reading it, talking about it, understanding it, and applying it. So here is your chance to join with people all over the world who are pledging to read the bible out loud every day in 2020. It’s called Bible 2020 and is a global bible reading campaign that began in a small way in Scotland, but has now grown to over 70 countries and counting, and hopes to be the biggest ever bible reading campaign in history. Fiona McDonald, from the Scottish Bible Society, decided to read her bible out loud, on her street, in her village in Scotland. Then she wondered what would happen if more people did it. And why stick to Scotland? “There’s something about speaking words out loud — it becomes a truth. Things become more real when they’re spoken out loud,” she says. So Bible 2020 began. After a number of years of planning, the campaign is due to begin on 1 January 2020 here in little old NZ, as we are the first country to greet the New Year. As the New Year rolls across the globe, like a Mexican wave, other countries will join in and keep the wave momentum going. As it gets to the top of the globe
(technically the latest time zone, the US), it starts all over again on 2 January back in NZ with a new text. So how does it work? It’s primarily run via a smart phone app. Participants download the free Bible 2020 app and register for the campaign. They then get, starting on 1 Jan 2020, a new reading each day, for the next 365 days (yes — 2020 is a leap year!). The readings are short (about 5 or so verses each) and cover various themes throughout the year. For example, the initial theme is Truth — the earth is the Lord’s. Day one’s reading comes from John 1: 1-5: “In the beginning was the Word….” Those registered will get the notification, and will then read it out loud in their chosen language at some point that day. The app provides a way for them to film themselves reading out loud, and all the videos are then uploaded onto the global video wall. Anyone can go on and watch someone reading the prescribed text in their own or another language. With over 70 countries registered already, this app will be great for language students! You can even read it in Te Reo Māori. The Chathams and NZ are the first to see the sun. This puts us in a unique position — the inaugural kick-start of the campaign is here. Bible Society New Zealand is planning a launch event in
Our Story | Words — Jo Bean | Photo Credit — NZBS
Gisborne and as the sun rises on the beach, many will gather and read the first reading. If you’re anywhere near Gisborne for New Year, get down to the beach and get involved. The idea is that each country will get as many churches, groups and individuals on board as possible. The Bible Society wants you! They are seeking churches and individuals to join in and get the wave started. Churches have been sent information, posters and bookmarks, so let’s jump in boots and all, be part of a global movement, and sign up to read.
You can support the Bible Society in two ways: • Join their prayer team: go to www.biblesociety.org.nz/ get-involved and click on the prayer section. Once registered a prayer diary is mailed out three times a year with prayer requests from global mission partners. • Donate: They get no government funding so rely totally on donations and bequests. There are a number of ways to give – visit www. biblesociety.org.nz/getinvolved and have a look.
At Home With Advent Did you know that Advent is actually the start of the Liturgical Year?
Instead of allowing the culture to dictate how Christmas is, create in your homes sanctuaries, where you, your friends and family can be shrouded from the chaos. In our home we don’t hang Christmas decorations until after Advent 4; yes we decorate our house, but with Advent things. We begin on Advent 1 by making an Advent Wreath that sits in the middle of our dinner table. It is a perfect way of keeping little ones at the dinner table. What child is not fascinated by flame? Adult supervision is of course important and matches need to be well away from little hands, but the added risk is one of the things that makes a wreath special. For many the only other time there are candles is a birthday, so it’s likely that Advent becomes a special time of the year by association. Advent prayers are readily available so if you’re someone who struggles with praying with your family, lighting a candle and saying a simple prayer is a good way to make this happen. I recommend you place plenty of candles around the living area. By doing
Made locally by Anthony Reid, and sold at the Cathedral Shop, these nativity scenes are designed to be painted by children. Beautiful purple pink and white Advent candles are also available.
so you are creating a different space to normal time. The low cost battery candles can be made to look really special in a glass jar or behind coloured glass. Affordable replacement batteries or rechargeables are easy to find making it totally safe if there are children around (or you’re a bit forgetful!). If you love a Christmas tree, and feel you still want one, one alternative is to put it up with only lights. Don’t decorate it, instead make it a focus of prayer. In the past we have created a Jesse Tree. It is a special Advent activity with readings and images that tells the story of our faith from Abraham to Jesus. Images can be coloured by children and placed on the tree. There are plenty of templates available in books or online.
Advent is a perfect time to begin afresh, to refocus our lives on Christ and take stock of our lives. December can be quite a sad time, a time when the effect of broken relationships, death or families moving on is felt more keenly. I have personally found the rituals of Advent a perfect place for that grief and to create a counterbalance to the frenzied shopping and partying that is ‘normal’.
A ‘Nativity Pyramid’ is a nativity scene which rotates on a carousel-like structure using the heat from the candles (some modern versions are electric).
the background and time for telling the stories of our family, and our faith, makes for really special memories.
Another activity we start in Advent is creating the Nativity scene — it doesn’t matter if it’s an heirloom or made of cardboard. Get the children to make or put up the stable and animals and each Sunday add more. If children do not live with you but visit over the coming weeks, they will love checking out what has been added, and it will be quite a talking point. Save adding baby Jesus for after sunset on Christmas Eve. On January 6th add the kings and then keep the Nativity scene up until Candlemas on 2 February. Time with family is special, in fact, I would argue it’s the most important gift you can give your family. So as often as you can, turn off the TV, turn off the lights and pull the curtains to create an atmosphere with candles, and put on some Advent Music. There is a beautiful range of melodies and words like “Come thou long expected Jesus”, “Hail to the Lord’s anointed”, “O Come, O come, Emmanuel!” and many more. In our household we don’t play any true Christmas music in the house until after church on Advent 4, which is also when we decorate the house with Christmas decorations. But you can choose what’s right for your place. Whatever you choose to do with your family in the weeks leading up to Christmas, taking time out with your children to create the decorations and to sit with all the lights out, music in
A Jesse Tree ornament template by Kathryn Marcellino
Elizabeth Kimberley is an artist and vestment maker. She has a BTheol from Melbourne College of Divinity and specialises in Christian formation especially with young people and is based at Christchurch Cathedral.
Our Story | Words and Photo Credit — Elizabeth Kimberley
My Cup Overflows With Caring Anglican Care Advocates doing the Lord’s work Christine (not her real name) is part of the Te Ngawai Anglican Parish in Pleasant Point, just 10 minutes inland from Timaru. Pleasant Point is the home of the Denheath Square, a very pleasant point indeed. Our Story
Christine heard about the advocacy workshops (run by Anglican Care South Canterbury’s [ACSC] Advocacy Group) at her Bible study group (a Presbyterian/ Anglican mixed group). Having always been one to ‘plough on through’ when life got tough, Christine wasn’t totally on board. “I am used to pushing myself and keeping going. I believed the only person you can rely on is yourself and you have to do it all. I wasn’t one to ever ask for help.” But she has changed her mind. When struggles come along, a course or support service like those provided by the Advocacy Group is really worth seeking out. In the first ACSC workshop she went to, she learned about self-care. “The penny dropped. I realised it wasn’t about being selfish — it was about knowing my limits and limitations. Strategies about how to set boundaries. It helped change the pattern of how I acted, and I learnt it was okay to ask for help,” says Christine. Another aspect of the workshops she enjoyed, and still does, is the friendships she built with other participants. “The relationships you build with people at the workshops are open and caring.” The skills Christine learned there certainly helped, but she also benefited from what happened after the workshops. She was involved in a hearing at the Family Court in Christchurch for a parenting issue and asked ACSC for support. The legal paperwork, the cost of going to Christchurch, and the pressure
of other family issues was overwhelming. She had real fears about the process, and about coming face-to-face with her abusive ex-husband. “An ACSC advocate travelled to Christchurch to be with me during the hearing. I am sure God put her there. I thought I would panic. She was just the right person to help me through it. As soon as we arrived she asked security if we could have a private room to wait in. Her being there helped, I was treated differently and people acted carefully,” says Christine. And from Pip, the advocate’s point of view, just walking alongside Christine so she wasn’t alone was important. Because the hearing was not where she lived, Pip was the only one there to support her. “Her ex-husband had people to support him and it would have been an intimidating situation if she had gone through it alone. During my time as an advocate for ACSC it is probably the most worthwhile thing I have done and I hardly even spoke — it was just being there,” says Pip. That’s what Christ does for us every day, so doing it for others is God-given work. Christine has one more thing to add. “It hasn’t stopped, that sense of fellowship, of not being just another number. I feel valued and worthwhile. If I see Alexia, the workshop facilitator, or one of the advocates down the street, they don’t just walk by, they see me, and check in to see how I am going. Also this year through ACSC connections
Ruth Swale, Advocacy Group Coordinator, and Alexia Bensemann, Advocacy Workshop facilitator.
I got sponsorship for my daughter to play in a regional soccer tournament. That people saw her potential was so important to me, after having to strive so much off my own back, it was above and beyond,” says Christine. Through Anglican Care South Canterbury, God has blessed Christine richly and her cup overflows.
The Bible clearly calls Christians to advocate for those in need. “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” (Proverbs 31:8-9)
Anglican Care South Canterbury Anglican Care South Canterbury provides support in two main areas: Social Justice Advocacy and Oceans Grief and Loss programmes. For advocacy, call Ruth Swale, 021 134 0307, or email her on socialjusticeadvocate@ anglicanlife.org.nz or via their FB page www.facebook.com/ advocatesouthcanty
Galatians 6:2 says “Help each other with your troubles. When you do this, you are obeying the law of Christ.” Credit: Anne Marie (Annie) Vallotton from her illustrations in the Good News Bible.
Our Story | Words — Ruth Swale, ACSC Co-ordinator | Photo Credit — ACSC
Christchurch Welcomes Passionate Global Priest Rev’d Spanky Moore chats to the new vicar of St Christopher’s Church, Avonhead, Rev’d Michael Brantley.
You don't sound like you're from around these parts! Where did you grow up, and how did you end up in Aotearoa?
Your past ministries have seen you working with young people and living in ‘intentional community’. Tell us more about what that looked like, and what you learnt in the process?
Early on in life I felt a passion and gifting to work with teens and young adults, and it gave me some insight into our fast changing culture and society. That led to church planting and developing new expressions of church for those who don’t connect with traditional forms of church (we call this ‘Fresh Expressions’). In 2006, after Hurricane Katrina, we moved there to help rebuild the community, working as missionaries, and again doing Fresh Expressions — seeking to engage people who were outside the reach of most conventional churches in the area, creating a tangible expression of the kingdom so people could taste and see Jesus.
The greatest lessons? Well, living in community certainly reveals your shadow side — because when you live with people and share ministry and life rhythms, you can’t hide, because it’s impossible to wear a mask 24/7. And yet community is a great place to experience grace, healing and to grow in maturity as you journey with others. It was often hard, but we’d never trade it!
We hear plenty about what puts people off being part of a church, but what do you think are the things that we do have that the modern person is hungering for?
People are more connected than ever, and yet simultaneously have never been more isolated. We have geographic shifts separating family, the dissolution of the extended family unit, the loss of a stable sense of neighbourhood and community, ever changing jobs, women with pressure to focus on building careers while also being perfect mums… all of this makes evangelism harder. But what are people hungering for? Well, they’re hungering for you! They want real relationships and to experience real belonging. We’re called to love radically, love sacrificially and even when it’s inconvenient - without condition and for the long haul. It’s about investing in a small circle of people and going the distance with them. Love them so well that they smell the fragrance of Christ on you! Pray like mad, love them, listen well and seek to understand. It’s vulnerable work but with mates and God you’re not alone.
So what drew you to Christchurch and to take up the role of Vicar at Avonhead?
As we prayed and had conversations with people who knew Christchurch and the parish, we began to be convicted that God was leading us here. And although a bit scary, we’ve already been warmly embraced. We’re having a blast and seeing God’s people respond and engage with some of our zany ideas with open hearts. We’re loving Christchurch and the people here. We sense God’s favour and empowering, and are experiencing the joy of seeing God moving and working. It’s a humbling privilege to become part of the Christchurch Diocese whanau.
What do you do for fun?
I like to tramp and camp in isolated natural places — I love being in creation, be it sea or mountain. Our family loves good food, and sharing it with people over meaningful conversations. And, believe it or not, I play Xbox and have a crew that has grown to about fifteen people, from 17 to 67 years old! It goes far beyond just playing a game though — we have real relationships with each other, and have plenty of authentic spiritual conversations amongst the fun.
Dialogue | Words — Rev’d Spanky Moore, University of Canterbury Chaplin | Photo Credit — AnglicanLife
Well, because my dialect is so muddled, I don’t get claimed by anyone! The place that shaped most of my speech is New Orléans, a former French colony. I grew up there, but have lived in Europe, the UK, different parts of the US, and New Zealand. We left NZ to go to New Orléans after Hurricane Katrina hit, and returned in 2014. My wife Susanne, who’s a Wellingtonian in every way, felt God calling us to make the move back here.
New Director For Theology House Gareth Bezett (BTh (hons) Otago University) is the new Director of Theology House from 1 December 2019. A theology scholar from the Wellington Diocese, his background also incorporates business, accounting and computer systems. Here Jo Bean interviews him about his life and faith journey so far, and what he’s passionate about.
Can you tell us a little about your early years, for example, where you grew up and when you became a Christian?
I grew up in Hamilton. I wasn’t raised a Christian but always had an interest in religions. I was an only child of a single mother but we have extended family close so I spent lots of time with my cousins. I also had a great cohort of school friends from the local neighbourhood from age five right through high school. The first way I made money was creating websites back before most people knew what they were. I ended up moving to Wellington for work and over time became more involved in software development and implementation particularly accounting and other business systems.
In my mid-twenties I had something of an epiphany and started to wonder if there might be some sort of force behind the universe that was personally interested in me. I made a “note to self” to “investigate meaning of life.” It happened that the first place I looked was St Mary’s Karori. As I explored Christianity it began to make sense and I started to try out things like praying. St Mary’s was a great place to come to faith. John Hughes, the vicar there, put me to work straight away and I had a full range of ministry experiences early in my journey.
So how did you start working for the Wellington Diocese?
Given my background working with accounting systems, when the diocesan finance committee was looking for new members, I thought I might be able to make a contribution. As I got more involved in diocesan governance I gained a greater appreciation for what happened at the Anglican Centre to support the Church. When the Diocese decided to appoint a deputy Diocesan Manager and Trust
Manager to support the Trust Board and administer the investment portfolio alongside other general management tasks, I put my hand up. I eventually took over as Diocesan Manager. I enjoyed my time in these roles working to support Bishop Justin’s vision for renewal in the Church.
So how did you jump from info systems, accounting, investment and management to theology?
So what is your master’s thesis about?
I’ve just submitted my thesis When I became a Christian, which is a great feeling. All my one of my early mentors in research to date has been in Wellington was already studying the field of Theological Anthropology theology by distance through Otago University, so I followed her example. So, — what the Christian faith has to say about human nature. This year I’ve been studying on and off for most I’ve undertaken what I’ve (for want of my faith journey. Having not gone to of a better label) called Liturgical university after high school, it took me Anthropology, specifically what the a while to get into the swing of studying, Eucharist tells us about who we are. This especially doing it on top of work, but has been in conversation with Alexander I came to absolutely love it. I was part Schmemann (a post-war Russian of the leadership team in Wellington Orthodox Theologian and teacher) and and Bishop Justin and I began to notice the 16th century protestant reformer, that my contributions there often came John Calvin. more from a theological perspective than the administrative or financial one you might expect given my role. We I hear that while you’re here in talked about the possibility of me taking Christchurch, you will also be two semesters off to finish my degree doing a PhD? full-time. When space became available at St John’s College for a four-year(!) Yes, I’m hoping to start my scholarship (because of a small intake of doctoral research in 2020 ordinands in 2016) it was a huge surprise and plan to do that part-time but too good an opportunity to pass up. alongside my half-time Theology I’ve been able to finish my BTheol, do House role over five or six years. I the Otago honours year and take some want to continue exploring theological of the locally taught papers including anthropology and return to Thomas Te Reo. This year I’ve been writing my Aquinas (a 13th century Dominican MTheol thesis. friar and influential philosopher) who I wrote about in my undergraduate and honours research papers. I’m curious to see how Thomas’s understanding of human nature, especially the place of the rational mind, squares with evidence arising from fields like neuropsychology. I plan to use sanctification as the primarily lens to explore Thomas’s thought.
Workplace Interview | Words — Jo Bean | Photo Credit — Supplied
What’s your current passion topic that you find hard to shut up about?
I’m always looking for opportunities to introduce people to, or remind them of, the enormous wealth we have in the Christian tradition. So often we think that we have to come up with new solutions to what we think are new problems. As my research so often unearths, those that have gone before us have a lot to teach us. One of my regular catchphrases is “we’ve been doing this Church thing for 20 centuries now — you’d think we would have learned a few things along the way!”
Your wife, Tracey Wakefield, is a counsellor by training. What will the move to Christchurch mean for her?
Tracey currently runs the Tamaki Community Development Trust which provides wraparound support for families in a part of Auckland that has experienced a lot of poverty and associated challenges over many years. She leads a team of family and social workers who build close relationships with whanau to help them meet their goals while facing significant challenges. Tracey is really looking forward to the opportunity to bring what she’s learned to a similar role in Christchurch.
What are you most excited about in taking up this role and moving to Christchurch?
One of the unexpected benefits of our time at St John’s has been finding out that we’re dog people. We’ve had some wonderful neighbours of the two- and four-legged variety over four years and I love borrowing someone’s dog and getting out in the sun. We’re hoping that Christchurch might be where we get a dog of our own. I’m looking forward to getting out and about in Christchurch and the wider Diocese and enjoying creation.
Do you have a favourite Bible verse you would like to share?
Although I have visited Christchurch, I’ve never lived in the South Island, so for me this is a big adventure. I am also excited to be paid for talking to others about theology in all its various forms! This isn’t just a job for me, it’s my passion. And linked to that is the fact the church has paved the way for me to study, and that is a privilege, so to be able to give back to the church and my fellow believers, is appealing to me.
in the Garden:
LIFE IN THE GARDEN:
By Dorothy Innes and Tom Innes
What do you do when not reading/studying/teaching? How do you relax?
I love the image of the New Jerusalem in Revelation 21. It’s a beautiful picture of both the hope we have for the future in Christ and the sort of healing presence that the Church as Christ’s body should aspire to be in the present.
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Workplace Interview | Words — Jo Bean | Photo Credit — Clipart: c/o www.flcch.org
A Unique Opportunity I remember it because it was Christmas and I had never stayed in a motel before. I had a room of my own and we got a little bottle of milk and a paper every morning. Being only seven years old staying in a motel was a big deal, but what followed was an even bigger deal. I was getting ready to go to sleep and Dad came through. He sat on the end of the bed and told me a story about a little man who wanted to see Jesus. Lk 19. In fact he was so determined to see Jesus that he climbed a tree to see him. Dad explained to me that Jesus is like that, people want to get to know him. Then we knelt together at the end of the bed dad prayed and then we said the Lord's Prayer. Years later I look back on that moment as one of the key moments in my faith journey. There’s a lot said about disciples making disciples and rightly so, but a lot of what is said is around what parishes and ministry units can do. Don’t get me wrong, church is vital and I wouldn’t be without it, but you can’t beat encouragement in the home. We could train the clergy to juggle 12 Christingle oranges on their noses, but without encouragement at home faith is hard to catch. You may not be like my Dad, I know I was blessed to have parents who not only had faith but could articulate it. But this season of Advent and Christmas holds out so many opportunities to share our faith at home.
neighbourhood, I wonder? Next comes the angels with news of joy. Finally the big day; the 25th of December, the baby Jesus comes out and everyone loves a baby! Don’t forget 12 days later to add the sages or Magi from the East. Of course not all of us have access to children, but there is an inner child in us all that responds to the waiting and the building excitement of the Advent and Christmas season. In a real sense, in our homes and families we welcome Christ into our hearts as we encourage one another. A very strange and wonderful thing happens when we
Nick is currently the Vicar of Upper Riccarton Yaldhurst and Archdeacon of Selwyn Tawera. Ordained in 1991, Nick has a passion for thriving not just surviving in ministry, riding his bike, contemplative prayer and putting the ‘Church’ back in Church Corner.
take the time to share faith, we begin to discover for ourselves how much this Christ, born to us at Christmas, is the source of our lasting joy. A joy that bubbles up and wants to be shared.
The advent wreath is easy to make; it only takes 5 candles and a bit of greenery, each night at tea during Advent we could pray, “Loving God, as we wait for Christmas give us a vision of how to live with our neighbours in peace, love and joy;” and then light a candle each week. Or the advent calendar, not the one with Thomas the Tank Engine or Barbie, although I’m a great fan of Thomas! But the one with a biblical scene each day. What could be better than opening a window each day during advent to build the excitement and anticipation! Another faith sharing tool for the inarticulate is the nativity set. Don’t just plonk all the figures down at once, but make a journey of it. Start with the donkey, talk about how far Mary and Joseph had to go. Next put out Mary and Joseph, talk about how faithful Joseph was to Mary and how anxious Mary must have been. Then comes the shepherds the very poorest people, the first to hear the news. Who are the poor in our
Teaching our children, grandchildren and extended whanau and friends about the real meaning of Christmas is a vital part of sharing our faith from generation to generation. Credit: “The Christmas Star From Afar” by Natalie Ard from www.booknerdmommy.com.
Theological Thoughts | Words — Ven. Nick Mountfort, Upper Riccarton-Yaldhurst Parish | Photo Credit — www.booknerdmommy.com
Extinction Rebellion A personal report on the recent Wellington protest In February this year I watched an on-line talk given by Gail Bradbrook, a founder of Extinction Rebellion (XR), titled “Heading for Extinction and what to do about it.” What I heard filled me with dread. Why wasn’t the government doing anything? Didn’t they realise how urgent it was? This was my call to act and now I give that talk which once threw me into a state of panic.
MBIE building exit blocking strategy.
The simple fact is earth, our life support system, is being strangled to death with deliberateness and cold-heartedness which can only be described as evil. This is not the time for apathy or denialism — it is time for action and courage. Powerful entities have hidden their knowledge for 40 years of the devastating impact fossil-fuels have on our biosphere. They have much to lose (wealth and power) and will not go quietly. Complicity and silence are no longer an option for me: I will not comply with entities conspiring to rob our children of a liveable planet.
an outcast. Jesus, after all, was an outcast. We are called by God to defy radical evil. This defiance is the highest form of spirituality.” Whoa! Recently I joined XR’s camp and acts of rebellion in Wellington. After attending the legal briefing and lessons on nonviolent direct action (NVDA), I chose to be ‘orange’ — willing to be part of civil disobedience but deciding on the day if I will be arrested. Others are ‘green’ — supporting those getting arrested, firstaiders, legal observers, kai makers, songmakers and de-escalators. Those in the ‘red’ team are willing to be arrested.
Chris Hedges, an ordained Presbyterian minister states “…Those who come out of… any religious tradition, have a responsibility to fight this latest iteration of radical evil, which is swiftly ensuring that our species and many other species will not have a future on this earth. It is our religious duty to place our bodies in front of the machine… Let us affirm our faith by affirming our defiance, our willingness to engage in the acts of sustained civil disobedience against the forces of radical evil... Accept becoming
On the rebellion day I arrived to Stout Street being blocked by a pink car and boat. The MBIE building is closed resulting in 2500 workers being sent home; I assist by blocking the back entrance with others who range in age from 30 to 75. ANZ branches are closed — some red rebels glue their hands to the glass — amongst them a youth of 15. Blocking Lambton Quay at 5pm rush hour with 30-odd rebels getting arrested and much media coverage culminated the day.
History says when 3.5 per cent of the population protest (for NZ that would be 140,000), and 600 people get arrested with 50 receiving jail terms, governments change laws. I am thankful for XR and I will be out on the streets with them again and again until we get traction — will you join us? I hope so.
Rebecca Finch has come to activism later in life. She is a counsellor with the Arahura Centre, worships at St Mary’s in Addington, hosts a fortnightly prayer group and a monthly climate- and earth-awareness discussion group called “Everything Matters”. Our Story | Words and Photo Credit — Rebecca Finch
In My Opinion
XR is for everyone. Sonia Pivac stands up for our planet.
A London Rabbi arrested for protesting remarked that “We are in a period of enormous catastrophic breakdown and, if it takes an arrest to try to find ways of helping to galvanise public opinion, then it is certainly worth being arrested”. The UK have banned XR activists from protesting anywhere in London, which has been slammed by Amnesty International as a “restriction to the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.”
Worshipping together, forever! Have you ever thought about the fact that worship is something that we will get to continue to do when we arrive in heaven? Many of the things we do here on earth, belong to this earth and this life only. But worship, praising God with our words, thoughts, actions and very being, is a beautiful activity that connects our lives here to our lives with God for eternity. Have you ever thought about the fact that worship is something that we will get to continue to do when we arrive in heaven? Many of the things we do here on earth, belong to this earth and this life only. But worship, praising God with our words, thoughts, actions and very being, is a beautiful activity that connects our lives here to our lives with God for eternity. As Christians, our main purpose in life is to love God and worship him forever. As we join in Godâ€™s great commission to go into all the world and make disciples (Matt 28:20), it is our job to call others into worship along with us. Parents have a unique opportunity to help their children grow in worshiping God. While it is wonderful to worship together as a family it can often be a real challenge. When my first three children were very young and I was often alone in the pew as my husband served at the front as a deacon, I was frustrated at how fidgety the children were. I was distracted and annoyed that I could not have a contemplative worship experience as I always had one eye open to make sure everyone was in line. It was during this time that I read a book called Parenting in the Pew: Guiding Your Children into the Joy of Worship, and was challenged to think about my worship time with my children in a new light. The author said that rather than training children to simply be quiet and still in the service (as we too often
Involving our children in meaningful ways within our services helps them to grow in their own faith.
do) we should encourage them to fully participate in every aspect of church. That means singing with gusto during worship, praying fervently with the intercessions, bringing their own tithes, passing the peace with smiles and strong handshakes and listening attentively to the sermon. As they get older, they can serve on the altar, join the choir or volunteer on various ministry teams. From that point onward, my view of worship with family has changed. Sure, it is still often hard to focus with little ones underfoot, but I am happy in the knowledge that I am training the children for the one main thing they will be doing forever. I am also proud as I see my older children serve at the front, carrying the cross up high and serving God with joy.
What are some ways we can begin to worship together as families? For a start, we can invite our children, grandchildren and other children in our lives to church. Encourage them to feel free to be a part of what is going on. Explain to them, quietly, what is going on during the service so that they know what to expect and how they can be involved. Talk with them before and afterwards to hear their thoughts and answer their questions. Another great way to foster worship together is to worship at home together. Begin around the table. Pray together before a meal, sing a song and each say something you are thankful to God for. There are so many ways families can begin to train together to be good worshippers. I pray that you will be encouraged to reach out to your loved ones and enjoy God both now and forever, together!
NZCMS Mission Partner in the Solomon Islands
Cohen and Moses Hicks participating in family devotions at the beginning of their homeschool day in the Solomon Islands.
Tesella Hicks lives with her husband Jonathan and six children on the island of Malaita where they teach at an Anglican Seminary. She enjoys teaching women about the Bible, gardening, acrylic painting and worshipping Jesus with song and dance. www.nzcms.org.nz/mission-partners/hicks
Global Dispatch | Words and Photo Credit â€” Tesella Hicks, NZCMS
Operation Christmas Child “I like watching the video of the children opening their boxes,” says Amelia. “The smiles on their faces and seeing how much it means to them makes me feel good too.”
y of our churches participate in regular missional activity and one we like to do at Christmastime is eration Christmas Child”. We fill shoe-sized boxes with Christmas presents, cuddly toys, matchbox cars Many of our churches participate in regular missional activity and , paper and alllike sorts wonderful items toChristmas send to children in poverty in the Pacific, Papua New Guine one we to do of at Christmastime is “Operation Child”. We fill shoe-sized boxes with Christmas presents, cuddly toys, Cambodia.matchbox Children receive their presents with joy and hear cars, pens, paper and all sorts of wonderful items to to children in poverty in the Pacific, Papua New Guinea and d news of send Jesus, Cambodia. Children receiveSt their presents with joy and good Parishioners Right: Barnabas filled 100hear boxes. s gift to us. news of Jesus, God’s gift to us. and church groups love doing this together.
“I like watching the video of the children opening their boxes,” says Amelia. “The smiles on their faces and seeing how much it means to them makes me feel good too.”
Above: St Barnabas' filled 100 boxes. Parishioners and church groups love doing this together.
Above, aboveright and right: Right down the bottom of Canterbury in Glenavy, the Youth Group packed boxes and completed 34 in total. Well done Glenavy Youth!
Above-left ft: Right down ttom of bury in Below: Hanmer Springs Parish have also been y, the Youth busy…. packed boxes mpleted 34 in Well done y Youth!
Left and below: The BurnsideHarewood Parish filled 52 boxes.
Above and right: The BurnsideHarewood Parish filled 52 boxes. Above and right: St Peter’s Anglican Preschool students pray for the children who will receive the boxes before loading then into the preschool van and off to deliver them. What a great teaching opportunity.
Captured | Words — Jo Bean | Photo Credit — The Parishes of: Burnside — Harewood, Fendalton,
Glenavy — Waimate District Cooperating, Hanmer Springs, Upper Riccarton — Yaldhurst
Egyptian Border Control A narrative
Transcript: One side of a conversation between an Immigration Officer and a Jewish immigrant family. Date: 20 Jan 1AD. Location: Interview Room 2, Immigration Control, Egyptian / Judean Border. Good evening sir and madam. My colleague at passport control has informed me of some concerns he has with your identity and reasons for wanting to come to Egypt. I need to ask you a few questions to clarify the situation before we allow you to enter the country.
Now first of all, I understand that your name is Joseph, and this young woman is your wife, Mary, you say, and she recently gave birth to this baby whose name is Jesus. So you are Jesus, Mary and Joseph, but you don’t have a surname is that correct? I see, you don’t use surnames in your country. Ok. Now why do you want to come to Egypt? Because Gabriel told you to do so. Does this person Gabriel have a second name? Oh, he is the Angel Gabriel. I will just note that down. You were told to come to Egypt by a Mr Angel Gabriel. Is Mr Gabriel a friend of yours? Not really you say. Have you know him long? Oh, your wife knows him better than you do. Well, Mary, how well do you know Mr Gabriel? Not all that well, I see. When did you first meet him? Just over 9 months ago and just before you became pregnant. Hmm. So let me just check my understanding here. Mary meets Mr Gabriel just over nine months ago just before she becomes pregnant and then shortly after she gives birth to the boy here, ah Jesus, Mr Gabriel meets with Joseph and tells him to come to Egypt. Oh, Joseph didn’t meet with Mr Gabriel. Then how did he tell him to come to Egypt? I see, it was in a dream. Joseph, do you dream a lot about Mr Gabriel? Not a lot you say; only this once. Ok, so why did Mr Gabriel tell you to come to Egypt? Because the King wanted to harm Jesus. Why would he want to do that? Because Jesus is going to be what? The King of the Jews, the Messiah? What makes you think that?
Mr Gabriel told Mary that just before she became pregnant. Quite a source of information is this Mr Gabriel. Now as the father of Jesus, you must be quite proud that he will be the King of the Jews. Oh, you are not the father of Jesus. At the risk of embarrassing you and the young woman here, can you tell me who the father is then and where he is? So his father’s name is either Jehovah or Yahweh, although you say he has many names. I see. And where is this Jehovah or Yahweh, or whatever name he may be under at the moment. Oh, I am sorry to hear that he is in heaven. Has he been there long? Quite some time. I see. What did he do before he went to heaven? Created the universe. Hmm, I see. Ok, so Jehovah or Yahweh creates the universe, goes to heaven, sends his buddy Gabriel to tell your wife that he, Jehovah, will father her child and then when he is born Gabriel ‘appears’ to you in a dream and tells you that the King is going to harm the baby and that you should all take off to Egypt. Let’s just leave that ‘story’ for the moment and consider now your application to enter the country. You told my colleague that you are a carpenter. Have you applied for a work visa and have you been offered a job with any of our building companies? Neither a visa nor a job offer. I see. You do know that we generally do a lot of building here in stone. We don’t have too much call for a wood worker. The last time we let your lot in they ended up making bricks and causing an awful lot of problems with plagues so we just have to be careful that there is no repeat of that sort of behaviour again. How long do you intend on staying in Egypt? Until Mr Gabriel tells you to go home again. Let me guess — he will tell you this in a dream. Oh boy!!
Arts | Words — Edwin Boyce
Now, there is also the matter of the amount of gold, frankincense and myrrh that you have in your possession. How did a carpenter get all of this? Three wise men gave it to you. I see. Where did you meet these ‘wise men’? At the back of a pub. How did they know you were there? They followed a star — Hmm I see — and you just happened to be in the right place at the right time. So, these three wise men meet you at the back of a pub, give you gold, frankincense and myrrh and then you take off to Egypt with the goods. Didn’t these ‘wise men’ try to follow you? Oh! Mr Gabriel told them to go back to where they had come from. Not all that wise then were they? He’s a persuasive person this Mr Angel Gabriel. Convinces your wife that Jehovah will father her child, even though he has been in heaven for some time, convinces you to fly off to Egypt until he tells you to come home again and convinces ‘wise men’ to go home after giving you gold and very expensive spices. Look I am finding it hard to believe this story. You are breaking the currency importing laws and that frankincense and myrrh is a possible bio-security risk, and as for that donkey it will have to go into quarantine. Look I will have to take this to my boss for a decision. Please wait here. (A while later) I don’t quite get it but my boss has said you can enter Egypt. New on the job; first day today, and if you ask me they’re being too lenient on you. Oh, you want to thank him do you? Well, my boss is not a ‘he’ but a ‘she’. We are an equal opportunity country; been that way for some time now, particularly after that Cleopatra woman was in charge. Anyway, come with me, and I will introduce you to her. By the way her name is Angela Gabriela.
in . . .
The Anglican Centre closes on Friday 20 December 2019 and opens again on Monday 6 January 2020.
May God grant you the Light of Christmas, which is Faith; The Warmth of Christmas, which is Love; The Belief of Christmas, which is Truth; The All of Christmas, which is Christ Jesus. Unknown.
Arts | Words — Edwin Boyce | Photo Credit — www.bible-printables.com
Baby J esus N ativity
Cu Colou t out the Na r it tiv togeth in and glue ity. e r to c the ed re g stands at a circle t es hat by itse lf.
Jesus is Born
Junior (2—7yrs) by Emma
Find the story of Jesus birth in the bible and read it out loud or together (Luke 2 or in a children’s bible). Then do one of these activities.
Use a felt pen to colour in the tip of your finger. Press it on Usethae pa felt pen to colour intothe tip of per to make a finge rp rint. aw on th e facesittoonto yourDr finger. Press makethe paper to Mar y, Jesus and Jo seph. make a fingerprint. Draw on faces to
A full-size printable version of these Christmas activities can be found at www.anglicanchildren.com
make Mary, Jesus and Joseph.
A Holy Night
The Christmas Story
Middle (8—12 yrs) Lesson adapted by Jo, Activities by Emma
Make a special quietlyitfollow you, andas take poor, hard-working and they Find the story of “Holy” Jesus place. birthPerhaps in the biblethem andto read together a familywere (Luke 2 and or in a create a blanket fort, block off a section them there. They must be quiet. Once came to see Jesus. Joseph couldn’t find children’s bible). of a room or just put down a mat the size settled, tell them it’s a special place, set a place to stay so had to shelter in a of the space you need. Cover a table with shiny paper or glitter, or provide a cushion with a tassel fringe as the centrepiece. Create a cosy, different, separate space that the kids will enjoy going to. Put up some lights or special objects, including something gold and glittery for royalty, and perhaps a crown, even a paper one is ok. Just making the space special is all that’s needed. If you don’t have a problem with allergies, maybe a simple fragrance, and/or some soft sacred music.
Tell the children you are going to a special place. Describe it briefly, ask
apart from the ordinary. When we are in this special place, we can close our eyes and quietly think about and talk to God.
shed where the animals were kept. They didn’t have fancy clothes, just straw and ripped up cloth.
After a time of silence, talk about aspects of God’s character and Holiness that relate to the Christmas Story. Talk of kings, queens and royalty, and about how Jesus was the King of Kings. How Jesus was the Prince of Peace. How angels told of his birth. How kings came to worship him.
The night Jesus was born was super special — angels sang, shepherds and animals worshiped, and wise men brought gifts. But Jesus was God’s gift to us, all people, and this tiny baby was going to save us all. Lead the children in a prayer saying thank you to God for sending His son for us. Sing quietly, Silent Night. Carefully and quietly move out of the sacred space and do the activity.
But even though he was royalty and God’s son, he was from a poor family and a real little baby boy. Shepherds
Harakeke | Lessons complied by Emma Tovey and Jo Bean.
3D N ativi ty
Cu t o plate ur and co l o s. Fo ur Glue ld along the th the t a b s e l in e s .
Promise? Promise! Senior (8—12 yrs) by Jo
Discuss: Do you ever make promises and then forget? Has someone promised something then it didn’t happen? How does that make you feel? Yes, it feels awful when a promise is broken — but God never breaks His promises. He promised a saviour and Jesus came. He promised to provide everyone a way to get in a right relationship with God — through Jesus — and Jesus is the Saviour of us all. God also promised things to people in the Christmas story. Let’s read and find out. Divide the class into shepherds, angels, kings, Herod’s Court, Mary, Joseph and others in the story depending on your numbers. Give them each a reading: Mary in Luke 1:26-38; Joseph in Matt 1:18-25; The Birth in Luke 2:1-7; Shepherd/Angels in Luke 2:8—20; King Herod/Wise men in Matt 2: 1-23. Get each group to read then practise a drama/skit that tells their story. Then one by one each group can perform the drama to tell the full story. At the end, ask the students about the promises made and fulfilled to each person.
Harakeke | Lessons complied by Emma Tovey and Jo Bean
10 December Activites to Prepare Your Family for Christmas
Watch your favourite Christmas themed movie as a family. Bonus: If your device is portable, why not take it outside on a summer's night with popcorn and your favourite cool drink.
ÂŠ 2013 - ManyLittleBlessings.com
Bonus | Image Credit â€” ManyLittleBlessings.com
25 Bible Verses to Countdown to Christmas Day!
Bonus | Image Credit â€” happyhomefairy.com
AnglicanLife would like to thank all the many organisations, groups, parishes, clergy and contributors, via words and images, that told the stories in our Diocese this year.
www.anglicanlife.org.nz Issue 62 ISSN 2253-1653 (print) ISSN 2537-849X (online) Feedback or story submission: email@example.com
We also thank the following financial supporters and advertisers this year 2019: Andrew Swift (Harcourts), Anglican Financial Care, Anglican Missions, Grant Bennett, Bell Lamb and Trotter, Bible Society of New Zealand, Blueprint Media, CBM Christian Blind Mission, Christian Savings, Christian World Service, Leisa Jamieson, Neil Macbeth Photography, Theology House, World Vision New Zealand. Thank you all for blessing and encouraging the Christchurch Diocese with your support.